Top 5 FYIs About Laser Tattoo Removal

Here are a few things you might want to know about laser tattoo removal: 

About 1 in 3 People Regret Their Tattoos

It’s not uncommon for the tattoo to have been obtained under less than ideal circumstances. Whether the result of a dare, too much to drink, an emotionally charged event or a passionate but passing conviction, most people tend to regret them later as they move on in life. A poorly worked tattoo is embarrassing and unsightly.

Tattoo Removal Creams and Ointments Do Not Work

Tattoos are embedded in the deeper layers of the skin to make them permanent, so tattoo removal creams and ointments cannot effectively reach them. The only way cream can remove a tattoo is if it damages the skin above them as well. Any chemical treatment that claims to treat tattoos can only do so by injuring the skin and potentially causing dangerous side effects. Laser tattoo removal is the best known method to erase unwanted tattoos.

Previous Tattoo Removal Procedures not as Effective

Before advances in today’s safe, effective laser tattoo removal procedures, the only options for tattoo removal was through one of three methods:

  1. Dermabrasion – where the skin was ‘sanded’ to remove top layers of skin
  2. Excision – where the skin is removed by scalpel, sometimes necessitating a skin graft
  3. Freezing the area then excising it.

How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

The type of laser used in tattoo removal systems is called Q-switched lasers, which employ a short, high-energy pulse of laser that target the wavelengths of tattoo colors. The pigments in tattoo ink absorb the energy pulses, causing them to fragment into small particles that can then be disposed of through the body’s waste systems. At the proper energy setting, the laser does not harm the surrounding skin structures, although the heat from the laser pulse can cause some discomfort. Depending on various factors (see below) such as size and color of the tattoo, it can take multiple sessions and often up to a year (with sessions 3-4 weeks apart) to completely remove a tattoo, although many tattoos cannot be fully erased, only lightened.

Factors in Laser Tattoo Removal Results

Although laser tattoo removal science is improving rapidly, effectiveness of a tattoo removal procedure depends greatly on some factors including:

  • The size of the tattoo – if the tattoo is very large, it may have to be treated in stages to prevent too much energy being absorbed by the skin in one session.
  • The color of the tattoo – each tattoo color has to be targeted at a specific color wavelength, with darker colors being easiest to remove.
  • The location of the tattoo – if the tattoo is located in an especially sensitive area, energy levels may have to be reduced to prevent burns or due to discomfort. Lower energy levels mean less of the tattoo ink can be destroyed per session.
  • The color of the individual’s skin – the darker the skin of the patient, the less the laser pulse energy that can be applied; the greater amounts of laser energy that darker skin tones absorb can cause skin damage.
  • The individual’s ability to heal – some patients heal slower from the treatment, and this would affect the protocol and timing of the subsequent procedures.
  • the tattoo application method – the method of application of a tattoo can affect its placement within the skin, which in turn affects how well the ink absorbs the laser energy.
  • The type of ink used – the types of inks used in tattoos vary greatly, and not all are able to absorb tattoo removal lasers easily. Some newer inks are specially designed to be easily targeted by the lasers.
  • The skill of the tattoo artist – a more experienced tattoo artist would be able to inject the tattoo ink at roughly the same depth in the skin, thus the laser would be able to be calibrated to target most of it at once
  • How old the tattoo is – the older the tattoo, the more ingrained it becomes in the skin, and as a result, older tattoos are very difficult to be removed.

Advances in technology over the last two decades have made tattoo removal safe and effective. New Life Laser’s treatments are performed using a state of the art equipment. We take pride in serving our customers, and your complete satisfaction is our goal! Request a consultation. 

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